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Women Poets of the Romantic Period
Individual Item Contents: WPRP 70




Scott, Miss Mary (1751-1793).


The Female advocate; a poem. Occasioned by reading Mr. Duncombe's Feminead.


London : printed for Joseph Johnson, 1774.

Physical description

viii,41,[1]p.; 4. With a half-title. Rebound in quarter calf, marbled boards.

Call number

WPRP 70.


Jackson, Romantic Poetry by Women, p. 289; Lonsdale, Eighteenth-Century Women Poets, p. 320-2; Janet Todd (ed), A Dictinary of British and American Women Writers 1660-1800, p. 279.


Mary Scott (1751-1793), daughter of a linen merchant, friend of Anna Seward. The Female Advocate is described by the writers in Todd as "an important poem about women of the past." It also deals with women writers of the present and changing attitudes. It contains a paean to the American slave writer Phillis Wheatley and some highly complimentary lines to Catherine Macaulay. It was possibly the only late 18th century poem by a feminist to follow the earlier mid-century male writers such as George Ballard and John Duncombe, in praising learned and creative women. Mary Scott's list of exemplary women is much longer than Duncombe's, for she seeks to redress the imbalance of historical knowledge about women caused, in her opinion, by male prejudice and female educational deprivation. She calls on women to exercise their talents and on men to welcome women into learning. The thesis of the poem is that, if men can be brought to recognise that women can write as well as men, they must in time admit women to the sciences and to equal education." Todd p. 280.


Includes Dedication.


Self prais’d and grasping at despotic pow’r,
Man looks on slav’ry as the female dow’r;
To nature’s boon ascribes what force has giv’n,
And usurpation deems the gift of Heav’n.


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